What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things conveys information communicated by network aware objects that connect the physical world with the world of information through the web. It does so through TCP/IP, the set of standards that enables network connections and specifies how information finds its way to and from the myriad of connections it contains. TCP/IP was formulated in the 1970s by Vinton Cerf and Robert E. Kahn. The advent of TCP/IP v6, launched in 2006, added enormous new addressing capabilities to the Internet, and enabled objects and the information they might carry in attached sensors or devices to be addressable and searchable across the web. This expanded address space is particularly useful for tracking objects that monitor sensitive equipment or materials, point-of-sale purchases, passport tracking, inventory management, identification, and similar applications. Turned into “smart objects” with embedded chips, sensors, or tiny processors, helpful information about an object, such as cost, age, temperature, color, pressure, or humidity — objects connected to the “Internet of Things” allow remote management, status monitoring, tracking, and even alerts if they are in danger of being damaged or spoiled. Traditional web tools allow objects to be annotated with descriptions, instructions, warranties, tutorials, photographs, connections to other objects, and any other kind of contextual information. The Internet of Things makes access to these data as easy as it is to use the web.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • I think some work with this is beginning in education. See bright cookie video.- jmorrison jmorrison Mar 5, 2013
  • I think this is the next step in programming and lab type classes. It would be great to integrate a Grow your Own Vegetable initiative with the biology class which is constantly monitoring the soil, light, and water conditions of the garden. It would also allow for creativity in terms of digitizing the world. The biggest problem with the technology is that it is mostly implemented at present as student tracking systems, which get into all kinds of privacy concerns. This is the biggest hindrance to bringing this technology to the classroom.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski Mar 7, 2013

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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I think the description needs to include more about the interconnection of things than the tracking of things, based on my other comments above.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski Mar 7, 2013
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • The is really a great supplement to programming and design classes when you are building and creating things. It is the corrollary to 3D printing. If you do not have to create it from scratch, you may want to modify to provide additional data based on location, settings, time, etc. An example would be being able to walk through a library exhibit and based on where you stand different sections light up and are highlighted to correspond with a presentation or audio recording.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski Mar 7, 2013
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • http://scratchabledevices.com/ Scratchable Devices is a research project at Rutgers University that is enabling end-users ("average people", if you will) to use the graphical programming language Scratch to program household devices, such as coffee makers, lamps, and alarm clocks. - jim.siegl jim.siegl Mar 6, 2013
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